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Joan Saura presents fire-fighting resources to halt summer brush fires

Catalan Home Affairs Minister calls for cooperation on all sides as fears rise of forest wreckage from March snowfalls

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19 June 2010 04:32 AM

by

Mario Rubio
Sabadell (CNA) .- Catalan Home Affairs Minister Joan Saura has asked local citizens to be aware of the danger of mistreating the environment and has warned that human factors remain the key to the starting of brush fires. Saura made his point at the Sabadell airport during a presentation of air and land resources which the Catalan government is banking on to reduce such fires this summer. The Minister also stressed that new resources have been freed up to increase the budget for the forest campaign to 6.6 million euros in 2009, bringing total Government expenditure to more than 30 million euros.
Saura asked for cooperation on all sides and said that "in risky times extreme caution is needed". The Minister insisted that despite efforts undertaken to clean the woodland wreckage that still exists in Catalan forests following last March's snowfalls, the effects have been “devastating” and have prevented the campaign from getting off to a good start. “It is not going to be an easy campaign”, he added.

Saura highlighted on “the human and budgetary efforts” that the Government has undertaken in the current economic crisis to deal with this issue. “Not only have we kept up the campaign budget from last year, but we have also increased it both from the perspective of employees as well as regarding the expenses associated with the measures and actions that we have implemented, such as improvements in communications logistics, transportation, command structure and new materials and technologies”.

As for air resources, Catalan fire-fighters will dispose of seven new amphibian aircrafts of various water capacities, four surveillance aircrafts, eleven helitanks, six helicopters, two rescue helicopters and four multipurpose vehicles. The greatest change has occurred in the land fire-fighter’s fleet, which has already incorporated 64 new fire trucks of twelve different models for a total investment of more than 16 million euros.

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  • Presentation of forest resources for the firefighting campaign

  • Saura, accompanied by the Mayor of Sabadell, Manuel Bustos, during the presentation of the forest firefighting resources

  • Saura accompanied by the Mayor of Sabadell, Manuel Bustos, during the presentation of the forest firefighting resources

  • Presentation of forest resources for the firefighting campaign
  • Saura, accompanied by the Mayor of Sabadell, Manuel Bustos, during the presentation of the forest firefighting resources
  • Saura accompanied by the Mayor of Sabadell, Manuel Bustos, during the presentation of the forest firefighting resources
The Minister of the Interior, Joan Saura, called for caution on all sides to prevent fires